18 ¶ Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
It is interesting that the fig tree in prophecy is a type of Israel (Hosea 9:1), both in the Old Testament and in the Gospels where Jesus finds the fig tree not bearing the fruit for which it was purposed and curses it (Matthew 21:19.) Certainly, Bible commentators in the last century have been scratching Christians’ ears much like I do my cats’ with preaching about their own understanding of the meaning of such prophecy and away from the more important subjects like the Christian’s own faithlessness and worldiness and bringing shame on the cause of Christ. So, I’ll leave the brilliant expositors of the future to their works and try to do what I have always been trying to do here and bring some practical understanding of how this can be applied to the Christian today.
Look at the connection with John 12:26. Read it again. Our service to Christ; living as a testimony to Him for others to see, showing Christ in our daily lives, preaching the gospel, teaching others about Christ, and being faithful to His doctrines are like nourishing the fig tree. In doing so, we are taking on individually what ancient Israel was called to do as a nation and yet refused to do, preferring man made religion based purely on surface ritual lacking any real commitment of the heart.
We are called to love one another;
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
And, indeed, doing good to all people,
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
As I have said before, the definition of “charity”, as in 1 Corinthians 13, is the active, beneficient love that Christians in the body of Christ are to have for each other. The conclusion of that chapter shows that it is more important than either faith or hope.
We are called to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves and to reject the world’s ideals of greed, lust, revenge, envy, pride, and covetousness;
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
These things do not save us but are evidence of our salvation.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The honor that God bestows on us for waiting on Him comes later when we face Him. We may work long and hard to make something grow, laboring each day as we seek to have Christ shine through us rather than ourselves. We pray to God, let Him speak to us through His words in His Book, worship with other Christians regularly, seek God’s face and seek to be changed by Him into the person He wants us to be.
It’s important to remember that the fig tree we keep and guard and care for doesn’t grow if we keep trying to graft our own SELF onto it. It grows only as we step back and let Christ Himself flow through its branches. At some point, if we have died to SELF and Christ has been manifested in our lives and in our actions after we have been saved we may one day hear;
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.